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From: The Socialist issue 727, 18 July 2012: March and strike against austerity

Search site for keywords: Olympics - McDonalds - Coca-cola - London



Olympics sponsor Adidas, whose workers make the uniforms for Britain's Olympics Team, is being investigated by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog) after it emerged that it pays its garment workers in Cambodia 10.00 for working a 48 hour week. The Cambodian garment workers who make Adidas's Olympics products are mostly women with children who can barely afford to pay their rent or feed their families.

The legal minimum wage in Cambodia is far below an actual living wage, but Adidas is not even paying its workers the minimum wage according to the law. Workers exist in poor living conditions in accommodation rented to them by the factory owners. It is common for whole families to live in one room. If workers do manage to achieve a wage rise, the owners simply raise the rents. The only wealth the Olympics will bring is into the pockets of the capitalists.

Dave Younger

'Brand protection'

You couldn't blame people for wondering about the priorities of the Olympic organisers. They're scrambling around to find enough security staff for the Games but meanwhile have nearly 300 uniformed 'brand police' patrolling high streets around the country in their purple uniforms.

Apparently this is the biggest 'brand protection operation' in UK history. The 'experts' will be checking that no company is illegally associating itself with the games or 'damaging the brand' of Olympic sponsors including McDonalds, Coca-Cola and BP. Advertising during the Games can't include words such as 'gold', 'sponsors' and even 'summer'!

Approved items only

According to a report on Radio 5, people will be barred from entering the Olympic site if they are wearing a t-shirt with political slogans on. The example given was a picture of Che Guevara! This is what a world run by corporations - or at least MacDonalds, Coca-cola and Cadbury's - looks like.

Not forgetting Locog of course, who will virtually be running a state within a state in the boroughs surrounding the stadium with powers to ban political stalls and protests. People will also be searched for excessive picnics - a job for Yogi Bear obviously! Apparently you will be allowed a 'reasonable' amount of food but not so much to prevent you from having to buy the bland, homogenised pap from the largest McDonalds in Europe at some point during the day.

Ken Douglas

At a glance...

Four MPs who sit on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee have accepted free tickets to the Men's 100m final, worth 480 each, from BT.

Those who went for the more expensive Olympic tickets, some sold for in the region of 1,000, may find themselves regretting the decision - it seems there is no guarantee that higher price means better seats. Some will even be completely unprotected from the likely heavy and frequent rainfall during the Games.

Hundreds of thousands of tickets for some of the most popular Olympic events have been secretly sold to official sponsors despite promises that they would be available to the public.

Experts have expressed fears that the pollution in London may cause athletes to have breathing difficulties, chest pains and sore throats - a couple of weeks of what Londoners have to put up with all the time!

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